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Handling food and drink at the office Christmas or holiday party can be a tricky affair.  It’s still a work event. Manners matter. You want to convey professionalism and a sense of responsibility when imbibing to not undermine your professional image.

Tips To Remain Professional

Often these parties offer unlimited spirits and finger foods. Use these tips to help you remain professional while you mix and mingle.

  1. Don’t pile your hors d’oeuvre plate. It just doesn’t look professional. Eat a snack before you go so you don’t appear too hungry.
  2. Choose finger foods that are easy to eat in one or two bites and aren’t too greasy or sticky. After all, if someone comes to greet you and shake your hand, it’s a bit awkward if you’re wrestling with a sticky chicken wing.
  3. Keep a beverage napkin tucked under your hors d’oeuvre plate for easy access to wipe fingers in between bites and before shaking someone’s hand.
  4. If servers circulate with finger foods on trays, take a beverage napkin to serve yourself from the tray. If you don’t have a plate, take an extra beverage napkin on which to place the item from the tray.
  5. Keep food and drink in the left hand so the right hand is always free for a handshake.
  6. If you drink alcoholic beverages at all, know what your beverage limits are so that your conduct does not reflect unfavorably on you. After one or two drinks, it’s best to switch to something non-alcoholic.
  7. After going through the food and beverage line, move away to another area to mingle so others can get through. This also helps alleviate the temptation to double dip or drink too much.
  8. Place used plates and glasses on small tables set up around the room for this purpose. Do not place them back on the food table.

You may also like to read Office Holiday Party Etiquette – 8 Tips.